• Specsavers County Championship 2m

    Hampshire beat the weather to go top

    Hampshire wrapped up an innings win in the nick of time against Warwickshire to go top of Division One

    Hampshire beat the rain by skittling Warwickshire out for 167 to go top of the Specsavers County Championship Division One table.


    Kyle Abbott and spin twins Mason Crane and Sean Ervine whipped through the struggling visitors to pull off a win by an innings and 94 runs with dark clouds circling at the Ageas Bowl.

    Hampshire captain George Bailey: “It was a fantastic win, a great team performance. If it had rained it would have rained there is not a lot we could have done about that. I was really proud of the way we controlled the game in the first three days and then forced the game. Full credit to Jim and Slug for their phenomenal partnership, it was really hard work and they went about it their way.”

    Ian Bell reached his 99th first-class fifty, as he looked the only player at home on a tricky wicket, before he was bowled by Abbott.

    Jonathan Trott, who had batted all but 13 balls on day three, departed soon after as Mason Crane found turn and bounce to find his outside edge to offer a simple catch for Sean Ervine at first slip.

    Abbott’s golden arm then saw him pin Sam Hain lbw, the umpire noticing the ball had just struck pad before bat. The South African then had Rikki Clarke leg before to a bowl which failed to get up.

    Gareth Berg replaced Abbott at the Pavilion End and had his own success in his second over when he had Tim Ambrose lbw to leave Warwickshire in dire straits at 131 for seven. The only blip on an otherwise perfect morning for Hampshire was Jimmy Adams’ drop at second slip which saw Keith Barker earn an extra life.

    After the interval, Crane pulled off a sensational googly, which kept very low, to baffle Grant Thornton and wrap him on the pads.

    Then the rain arrived and frustrated the hosts by forcing the players off for 20 minutes.
    But when Hampshire came back onto the pitch they took little time in rolling through the tail.

    Boyd Rankin was bowled leaving a Sean Ervine straight ball, before the Zimbabwean finished things off by pinning Sunny Singh lbw. Hampshire move 14 points clear of Essex at the top of the table, having played a game more.

    The win was their third of the season, with Warwickshire taking three bonus points from the match to stay second from bottom.

    Warwickshire captain Ian Bell said: “We gave ourselves a lot to do and I look back at the game and two session in particular one with the bat and another with the ball which allowed Hampshire to get away too easily. We should have got 350 in the first innings and restricted them to 400.

    “It is not the first time this year that has happened. We know this team needs to learn quick. Division One is ruthless. I asked the guys to keep fighting and at times we fought really hard. I hope I can continue to take 11 guys out who want to fight for Warwickshire and want to show they want to take this club forward. We are fighting at the minute and it looks very difficult for us.”

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